New Pope approved of Medjugorje visits

(Source: Medjugorje Today)

Written by Jakob Marschner, March 17th, 2013

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis opened his diocese to Medjugorje priests, and asked Fr. Jozo Zovko to bless him. And shortly before he left for the papal conclave in Rome, he approved of visionary Ivan Dragicevic’s public apparition arrangements that drew 10,000 people.

Medjugorje is far from unknown to Pope Francis.

In the recent newsletter of the organization Children of Medjugorje, Sr. Emmanuel Maillard summarizes three occasions when the new Pope, as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, approved of public talks from prominent Medjugorje visitors in his diocese.

Part of the audience present at visionary Ivan Dragicevic’s public apparition on March 8 at Luna Park, Buenos Aires, an arrangement approved of by Cardinal Bergoglio

The most recent of these approvals was given just a few weeks ago:

Part of the audience present at visionary Ivan Dragicevic’s public apparition on March 8 at Luna Park, Buenos Aires, an

arrangement approved of by Cardinal Bergoglio

“He welcomed Fr. Jozo Zovko while on his mission in Argentina. He welcomed Fr. Danko last year, for his mission through Argentina. And Cardinal Bergoglio allowed (visionary) Ivan to spread his witness in Buenos Aires early this March. Only a few days before leaving for Rome to join the conclave, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio

Fr. Jozo Zovko

Fr. Jozo Zovko

gave his approval for Ivan to receive the apparition at Luna Park” Sr. Emmanuel informs.

Ivan further visited the Malvinas Microstadium where he drew about 5,500 people on March 6, a slightly higher number than at Luna Park two days later.

Fr. Jozo Zovko, parish priest in Medjugorje by the time the apparitions began, tells the Croatian newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija that he spent a long time with then-Archbishop Bergoglio during his visit to Argentina in the late 1990s.

“We spent a long time together and talked about everything in Buenos Aires. And he was interested. We prayed together and at the end he asked me for a blessing. I touched one fine and good man. He is a good choice for a Church that is getting better, and there is no better

Francis with flowers to Mary

person than Francis to rebuild the Church. Pope Francis’s gift to the Church is a fruit of the grace at this time. He dares to talk about our failures” Fr. Jozo tells Slobodna Dalmacija.

“He called for prayer, and his first move (as Pope) was going to Our Lady with a bouquet of flowers. There is a man who, like Mary at Cana, sees and feels and knows where to go.”

“We need such people deeply rooted in prayer. He holds a Rosary in his hand, and draws on the Gospel. It is the key that opens all closed doors, and the Pope is showing us the way.”


Cardinal Schoenborn on Medjugorje

(Source: Crownofstar)
Thursday, July 05, 2012

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn

Cardinal Schönborn restates position on Medjugorje… Church teaching very clear…
In an interview with Our Sunday Visitor July 15, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has again confirmed the Church’s teaching on the Medjugorje phenomenon which is still being studied by a Vatican Commission.

Questioned as to how the faithful should respond to the phenomenon in view that the authenticity of the apparitions is still under question, the Cardinal responded:

“I think that the Church’s teaching on Medjugorje is very clear. The bishops of the countries of the former Yugoslavia took a clear position in 1991. This is still valid and has been confirmed by the Vatican twice.

“There are three important points in this statement. First, that it is not confirmed that the events are of supernatural origin. That means it is neither confirmed nor denied. The Church left it open.

“The second point is that as the so-called apparition question and message question has not been decided it is not permissible to make official pilgrimages to Medjugorje. So, for example, I cannot organize a formal diocesan pilgrimage to Medjugorje as we can to Rome or Fatima or Lourdes.

“The third point, however, is that the people who choose to go to Medjugorje on their own are entitled to spiritual care. So, we priests or bishops are invited to provide spiritual company to pilgrims. That’s what my predecessors in Vienna did from the very beginning regarding Medjugorje, and that’s what I continue to do.

“I think these three points are sufficient for a good understanding of how to approach Medjugorje.

“The most important for me are the overwhelming good spiritual fruits of Medjugorje.”

Cardinal Schönborn is one of several cardinals who have made private pilgrimages to Medjugorje. He was there for Christmas 2009.

Interview of Cardinal Schönborn of Vienna

Thursday, 09 June 2011

[Source: Crownofstars Blogspot]

Cardinal Schönborn with Medjugorje visionaries, Marija, Ivanka and Mirjana

Cardinal Schönborn with Medjugorje visionaries, Marija, Ivanka and Mirjana

In May 2011, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn was interviewed on Radio “Mir” Medjugorje and spoke warmly about his private visit to Medjugorje during Christmas and New Year 2009/10.

The Cardinal stated that his decision to go to Medjugorje came about as a result of visiting the “mother house” of the Cenacolo Community in Saluzzo, Italy, for its annual “Festival of Life” in the summer of 2009. He said he was aware of the deep connection between Medjugorje and the Cenacolo Community and how the Community has spread to the entire world and gives active and visible witness to the power of the resurrection of the Lord. He said he also wanted to use his time in Medjugorje for silence and meditation.

When asked what he particularly remembered about his pilgrimage the cardinal said he remembered in a special way the celebration of the Eucharist at the midnight vigil Mass (New Year’s Eve) with many thousands of pilgrims present. He also remembered with gratitude his meeting with the Franciscan priests and, as a Dominican, he felt a strong association with the Franciscans.

Climbing the two hills in Medjugorje was another special memory of the cardinal. He revealed that he ascended Cross Mountain with Sr Elvira, founder of the Cenacolo Community, and it had been a special and strong experience.

Cardinal Schönborn said the memories of his meetings with four of the visionaries, Marija, Mirjana, Ivanka and Vicka are carved deep in his heart and he is full of gratitude for the outstanding hospitality in their homes.

The cardinal also revealed he spent time on pilgrimage as a priest hearing confessions and added that the “secret” of Medjugorje, like Lourdes, is the close proximity of Our Lady, and is reason why pilgrims come.

He said his first encounter with Medjugorje was in the early 80’s through a prayer group based in a Vienna church and he observed how people were living and praying in a special way for hours every week, praying the Rosary with their heart, coming before the Blessed Sacrament, and celebrating the Eucharist. He saw the group’s willingness and commitment as a sign that speaks of truth. Cardinal Schönborn then spoke of the many prayer groups formed in Austria through Medjugorje, how the people in the groups have deepened their faith and Christian life, infused with the Eucharist, and give witness and testimonies of healings. He added that 12 years ago the Church acknowledged and recommended “Oase des Friendens”, an association that monitors and supports Medjugorje prayer groups in Austria.

The cardinal was asked if he could say anything about the “fruits” in his country and responded that the “fruits” were baskets of Medjugorje fruits. He mentioned there were strong priestly vocations stemming from the Medjugorje fruits, many conversions, families strengthened in faith, recovery from addictions…

Cardinal Schönborn then discussed the Medjugorje messages and thanked God that they were not “original”. He said that if they were sensational all would have surely disappeared because it is impossible for each week, each month, every year, to give sensational messages. On a personal basis he regarded the messages as simple and almost like an alphabet for living as a Christian: a continuing call to prayer, to conversion, to reconciliation and to peace, acknowledged by Our Lady’s words “Thank you for responding to my call”.

The cardinal said millions of people around the world read the messages and recognise the call of the Mother of God in their lives because of the messages; they are reminded every month to pray, to reconcile and to love the Virgin Mary. He added that through this “school” Mary invites us to follow Jesus, to look at her Son, to listen to him, to imitate him, and that “Do whatever he tells you” were Mary’s first words to the people. He stressed that “Do whatever he tells you” is the core of the Medjugorje messages.

Cardinal Schönborn blesses the people of Medjugorje in St James’ Church

Cardinal Schönborn blesses the people of Medjugorje in St James’ Church

Cardinal Schönborn was then asked if he could give a special message to the parishioners of Medjugorje and the people of BiH and Croatia. He responded by saying how striking it was that at the beginning (of the apparitions) Our Lady’s messages were directed to the people of the parish and it seemed that if Heaven was preparing Medjugorje for something special then its residents must be involved. He said it would be difficult for the peace of Medjugorje to spread if the residents did not live this peace and that this “education” by Our Lady was truly wonderful for the parish, to become a “tool” for the Queen of Peace.

The cardinal then mentioned there would be a Prayer Meeting for Peace in the Vienna this coming Novemember, the fourth time such a gathering will take place in the Cathedral, and confirmed that some of the Medjugorje visionaries will participate and he has approved the meeting. He said the Cathedral can be regarded as the heart of Austria and this great movement of prayer within the country that has brought many blessings must have a place in the Cathedral, and gratitude should be expressed that this encounter can take place there.

Cardinal Schönborn concluded the interview by expressing his thanks to all engaged in this type of work. He thanked the Medjugorje parish, the Franciscans in Medjugorje, and said that all are in his heart and prayers with great joy and gratitude.

How the Messages are Received and Reported

(Excerpt from Our Lady Speaks as a Mother, by Marija Stelzer-Dugandzic, pictured second from the right.)

CardinalSchoenborn1[The others, pictured from left to right: His Eminence Christoph Cardinal Schoenborn (Archbishop of Vienna), and visionaries Marija Pavlovic, Mirjana Dragicevic and Ivanka Ivankovic.]

If we speak about the vocabulary of the messages, the question arises whether it is the vocabulary of Our Lady, or of the visionary, or of some third person. In other words: what process takes place between the actual ecstasy of the visionary and the written word, which then becomes “the message”?

Let us first pay attention to the visionary herself. To my question about how she receives the message, she answered, “I hear, I see, and I sense Our Lady. It is not like a dictation one receives from somebody; rather it is an experience drawing my whole being into it. The words themselves are already an experience by itself. If Our Lady says, ‘I am your mother; I love you’, she gives me such a convincing feeling that I can never express it completely in words. At the end of my ecstasy I need some time to be quiet so as to remember the experience and the message accurately.”

To my question whether she is normally happy with the words of a message, the visionary answered, “It is different. I can only say that I have never been able to convey my experience exactly.”

My next question took aim at the function of the priest to whom Marija normally first reports the message. It is to Father Slavko Barbaric, a Franciscan priest who has a doctorate degree in Psychology and Psychotherapy. Marija said, “Fr. Slavko reads the message. He discusses it with me if something is not quite clear to him. If there is any grammatical error, he corrects it. Occasionally he helps me find the most appropriate word for something. But he never changes anything without checking with me several times.” (INTERVIEW with Marija Pavlovic on 20 July 1996.)

The visionary has now been living in Italy for several years, and has a good command of the Italian language. But, according to her statement, Our Lady continues to speak with her in Croatian.

Vatican II describes the process of inspiration of the Bible in these words: “In composing the sacred books, God chose men, and while employed by Him they also made use of their own powers and abilities, so that with Him acting in them and through them, they, as true authors, consigned to writing everything, and only those things, which He wanted.” (DEI VERBUM 11). In the following article we read: “For the correct understanding of what the sacred author wanted to assert, due attention must be paid to the customary and characteristic styles of perceiving, speaking, and narrating which prevailed at the time of the sacred writer, and to the customs men normally followed at that period in their everyday dealings with one another.” (DEI VERBUM 12)

“If people are being addressed by God they are always able to perceive His words only in their own humanly-limited language. As well, they are only able to convey such words to others in a form according to the history and the contemporary meaning of their words… Even the words of Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, are subject to the laws and limits of human language.” (KREMER, Jetzt die Wahrheit leben, 34.)

“The fundamental realization of Biblical science tells us that even the books of the New Testament are not an exact record of the words and deeds of Jesus. Instead, we find in them the faith-experiences that the first Christian communities had made with the teachings, works and personality of Jesus. Basically, therefore, the books of the New Testament do not report a ‘pure’ knowledge of Jesus’ life, but rather that of the first Christians.” (ZULEHNER, Helft den Menschen leben, 46.)

“If this applies to the ‘prophetic’ inspiration of the Bible, then it does even more so to ‘private revelations’, for that is what we are dealing with at Medjugorje. A priori, we must therefore exclude the possibility that the visionaries receive the ‘messages’ like a telephone call from above. In every prophetic speech the totality of the human person is participating.” (MUHLEN, Medjugorje eine mystagogische Herausforderung, 38.)

What does Fr. Slavko say about his own function in the ‘composition’ of the messages? “My function is that of a spiritual director of a visionary or a person who believes she has a special mystical experience. It is the role of the priest to check the message in the light of the Bible and of the Church’s Tradition, and to correct any obvious grammatical errors. There is no other responsibility for the priest. Occasionally, I had to ask the visionary for the meaning of one thing or another, or whether a certain concept might not be better expressed by a more appropriate word. In all such cases I have made a change only with the complete agreement of the visionary. From the time that Marija Pavlovic took residence in Italy I have been receiving her message on the 25th of each month by telephone. Now and then it happens that I have to call her a few times to make sure I have understood the message correctly and that I can then pass it on. I also attend to the translation of the messages into different languages.”

What does Fr. Slavko say about his receiving the messages from the visionaries? “Because of my close contact with the visionaries I can only repeat what they are stressing, i.e. that there is no dictation or a telephone conversation. It is an experience in the very core of the heart. Marija told me that after every apparition she always needed a few moments to be quiet so as to remember the message. On some occasions the visionaries have told me that they are able to remember a message only once. If they had to write the message a second time they would have to copy it from the first text. That led me to believe that perhaps we have something like an impression here, something is deeply etched into them but vanishes as soon as they have written it down. I came to believe that the Croatian language – or any language for that matter – as a means of communication in the case of an apparition has no absolute value, but only a relative one. To this suggestion I received a unanimous negative reaction from all the visionaries. They are sure that Our Lady speaks to them in the Croatian language and that they hear her voice. This made me drop my suspicion that there may not be an actual language involved. Several times I noticed how difficult it was for Marija to convey the message exactly because it was not only a matter of mere words but also of a deep inner experience. From my observation I can say that each visionary conveys the message slightly differently. For example, one may give the message as an answer to a question that was asked of Our Lady. This is in line with the theory of inspiration in Scholastic Philosophy that everyone receives in his or her specific way–‘modo recipientis’.” (INTERVIEW with Fr. Slavko Barbaric on 28 July 1996.)

This agrees with the statements of Vatican II which point out that regarding the interpretation of an inspired text the faculties of the visionary and the influences of his/her surroundings must be taken into consideration.

After a word-for-word dictation has been ruled out, and after the function of the priest has been shown to be very limited, the conclusion may be drawn that the text of the messages in question is the fruit of an inspiration, of an inner experience, of human co-operation, and of some input of the visionary.

[Editor’s note: Since Fr. Slavko Barbaric’s death on November 24th, 2000, Marija Pavlovic normally telephones the message to Stipe Cavar at the Radio “Mir” Medjugorje office. Stipe (pronounced stee-pay, accent on the first syllable) writes it down, makes photocopies and distributes them to the international translation team waiting close by. Questions and clarifications are passed back and forth through Stipe via telephone connection with the visionary. Nancy Latta confirms that a single word may take up to 4 hours to translate.

Although the 2nd of the month messages to Mirjana are not properly translated by the translation team according to the above examining procedures, they are nevertheless printed on small pieces of paper by the Medjugorje Information Office staff, and handed out to pilgrims.]